The U.S. Women’s Soccer team survived a late scare to stumble into the World Cup knockout round following a goalless draw against Portugal in their last group-stage game in Auckland, New Zealand.
The game, which was broadcast on Fox, was a crucial tie for the four-time world champions, who needed a draw or win to avoid being booted from the World Cup in the preliminary group stages for the first time in history.
Team USA began their journey for a third straight World Cup title in confident form with a 3-0 win against Vietnam. However, the aging US side seemed to fall off the gas after their opening win, clocking a lackluster draw against the Netherlands and now World Cup debutants Portugal.
The U.S. finished second in Group E with five points — their lowest tally in World Cup history. The Netherlands won the group and finished their preliminary campaign with seven points and a 7-0 win against Vietnam. The only other time Team USA failed to win their World Cup group was in 2011. That year, they transformed in the knockout rounds and turned their slow start into a title appearance against Japan. They ultimately lost that final on penalties.
Team USA now faces a tough road ahead in the knockouts. As the runner-up for Group E, the U.S. will play the winner of Group G, which is currently their frequent rival Sweden. The two teams last met in the opening game of the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, which Sweden won 3-0.
Content Source: deadline.com